Meghan Markle Bought Princess Lilibet a £5,000 Gift Six Years Before She Was Born

She’s probably not getting it for her birthday today, though.

Close up shot of Meghan Markle
(Image credit: Getty)

Highly unlikely that Princess Lilibet will get this gift from her mom, Meghan Markle, on her birthday today—she is, after all, only turning two—but eventually Lili has a fantastic gift waiting for her in the form of a Cartier Tank Francaise watch, which retails for 5,000 pounds. Meghan bought the piece after finding out her role as Rachel Zane would continue on the hit television show Suits, and had it engraved “To M.M. From M.M.,” The Sun reports.

“I plan to give it to my daughter one day,” Meghan said. “That’s what makes pieces special, the connection you have to them.”

Meghan Markle accepting an award in a gold gown

(Image credit: Getty)

Meghan said this in 2015, and the next year she met Prince Harry on a blind date. The couple announced their engagement in November 2017 and were married on May 19, 2018; they welcomed their first child, Prince Archie, on May 6, 2019, and Lilibet Diana—named for the familial nickname of Queen Elizabeth and, of course, her late paternal grandmother, Princess Diana—arrived on June 4, 2021.

In an interview with Hello, Meghan explained why the watch meant so much to her: “I’ve always coveted the Cartier French Tank watch,” she said. “When I found out Suits had been picked up for our third season—which, at the time, felt like such a milestone—I totally splurged and bought the two-tone version.” 

Meghan Markle on a visit to South Africa

(Image credit: Getty)

Meghan also owns another Cartier Tank Francaise watch—this one belonged to Diana, and the late Princess of Wales regularly wore it for engagements back in the 1990s, The Mirror reports. That piece was gifted to Diana by her father on her 21st birthday, and after her death it was passed on to Harry, who is said to have given it to Meghan during the early days of their relationship.

Meghan wears the watch frequently, and it isn’t the only piece of jewelry of Diana's she has been known to wear. Meghan wore an aquamarine ring surrounded by small solitaire diamonds and set in 24-carat gold on her right hand for her wedding reception alongside Harry, and Meghan also often wears Diana’s Cartier tennis bracelet, thought to be worth 17,000 pounds.

Princess Diana wearing an aquamarine ring

(Image credit: Getty)

So, no, Lili is probably not getting the watch this year for her birthday, but The Daily Express quotes a source as saying “no doubt she’ll be getting a truckload of presents. Meghan has fallen in love with Cartier’s absolutely divine music boxes.” (So, maybe not a Cartier watch, but Cartier, nonetheless.) The insider continues “Harry is letting Meghan take charge of most of Lili’s gifts, but he was talking about adding more British books to the nursery that he used to love as a kid, like the Paddington Bear and Frog and Toad series.”

Rachel Burchfield
Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor

Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.